One of the most exciting experiences in the world is when you see young people using their skills in the church. We have trained, released, prayed for, and coached hundreds of teens and young adults in worship ministry that are now in churches around the world. With some firm values that never change, and some guiding principles of ministry that drive our lifestyle and priorities, God can use anyone at any age as a conduit for His purposes.
When we meet with young worship teams, pastors, leaders, and young musicians, almost all of our conversations are based around certain themes or passions. Seven of our most cherished Worship Passions for the Next Generation are:
A Passion to Use the “Worship Key.”
Worship can be a key that opens the door of a young person’s heart. Worship sets an atmosphere that draws him or her into the presence of God – it’s a moment with the Maker. Young people love their music! One of our most fulfilling experiences is when we see teenagers defend their worship music the way that they would their favorite band! Worship moments can heal, break bondages, and change lives. Use the key of worship!
A Passion to Be Creative and Original.
Psalm 87:7says, “Both the singers and the players on instruments say, ‘All my springs are in You.’” Songwriters often hear a cool melody line or chord progression on the radio or in a popular song, and then try to “recycle it” in their own song writing. Young people are turning to secular music to find inspiration and a fresh sound. Why not tap into something “original?” God is the Creator of music and Originator of melody. Imagine if more songs were written out of our moments with Jesus and time in the Presence of God. Our creative “springs” are in Him. When we try to write songs out of our own strength and skill, we eventually hit a creative “wall.” When we’re drawing from God’s spring of creativity, the possibilities are endless. Be original.
A Passion to Use Our Gifts in the Church.
When young singers, songwriters, and musicians realize that together they have a musical chemistry; they will usually form a band. Once they get good, they’re on “the road” and out of the church. Too many gifts ultimately lie dormant in the church when the band’s dream dies. Fame and fortune may or may not come! But, the Church is always there and God gave us gifts to be used for His kingdom and not to be buried when the record deal never arrives. God honors those who honor Him, and there’s favor that rests upon those who commit their gift to the Lord to be used in the church.
A Passion for a Heart of Worship
A heart of worship is worth more than skill. In our youth ministry we train hundreds of young musicians, and we’ve realized that the value of a true heart of worship overshadows skill. Do you need to grow in your skill? Do it! But remember, focus on the heart and the rest will come. (Matthew 6:33)
A Passion for Skill.
We encourage the young people in our ministry to take lessons and increase their musical skill. Most young people, teenagers especially, want to just play– but will never play well. Take lessons! Work hard! Skill and versatility are as important in worship as in any other area of music. Creativity is often hindered by a lack of skill, not passion.
A Passion to be Flexible.
Usually, we think that we just buy the album, learn the song, and sing it in church. The result of that thinking is very little flexibility in a worship service. Be flexible. Sometime this means slowing down or speeding up a song, or musically simplifying it a little. Don’t get stuck in a rut; feel free to make the song fit the personality of your worship service and group. Look for songs that are not the industry standards. You can find online hundreds of excellent worship songs from churches and youth groups all over the country. Branch out! Or even better, write your own songs!
A Passion to be Humble and Contrite.
Some of the most-gifted musicians in our church have not lead worship because they didn’t have the right spirit. However, some of the less-gifted have the right spirit and they are the ones who lead and play. The sacrifice that the Lord wants is a broken, contrite spirit (Psalms 51:7). God will open more doors of opportunity to those who have humble